This list of local places and events are just the ticket for your little train enthusiasts. Watch model trains, start your child’s train collection, or spend the day adventuring as you hop on and off the Metra. Annie even has plans to create a train from cardboard boxes at home! The possibilities are endless for kids who love trains. Your whole family will be on board with these ideas family-friendly fun.
Local Places and Events For Kids Who Love Trains
Berwyn’s Toy Trains and Models
7025 Ogden Avenue
Berwyn, IL 60402
Chicagoland’s largest collections of model railroading products for your O Gauge layout.
The Great Train Story
Museum of Science and Industry
5700 S Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60637
Model railroad with more than 20 trains running on 1,400 feet of track, completing the winding journey between Chicago and Seattle.
The Model Railroad Garden
Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Road
Glencoe, IL 60022
Now running through October 18, 2021, this special exhibit is home to 18 model trains with close to 50 miniature American landmarks and 26 bridges. The details on this display are incredible. Tickets can be purchased at the ticket booth in front of the Model Railroad Garden.
16 Grant Square
Hinsdale, IL 60521
This grocery store has a small train above the frozen food cases.
Oakridge Hobby and Toy Store
15800 New Avenue
Lemont, IL 60439
A great store with countless trains to see and explore. The store is located near the train station in downtown Lemont, so plan your visit with the Metra schedule to see a train go by.
The Morton Arboretum
4100 Illinois Route 53
Lisle, IL 60532
DuPage County Historical Museum
102 E. Wesley Street
Wheaton, IL 60187
Running every 3rd and 5th Saturday, DuPage County Historical Society welcomes guests to see 2,000 feet of track covering DuPage County landmarks.
Great Midwest Train Show
DuPage County Fairgrounds
2015 Manchester Road
Wheaton, IL 60187
The world’s largest monthly model train show featuring operating model train displays, LEGO layout and HO layout for the kids to operate. Running the second Sunday of every month, these events resumed on August 8, 2021. Kids 11 and under are free.
Lego Train Show
1S151 Winfield Road
Wheaton, IL 60189
This annual event, usually running in mid-December, is full of large displays with moving Lego trains.
Train Exhibits That Are Worth the Drive
While these locations aren’t technically in the western suburbs, they’re great stops for train lovers!
Illinois Railway Museum
7000 Olson Road
Union, IL 60180
Their very popular Day Out with Thomas events have passed for 2021, but there’s lots more fun to be had, including their Pumpkin and Happy Holiday Railway Santa Trains. Check their events tab for info on their family-friendly events.
450 W 100 N
Valparaiso, IN 46385
Their outdoor g-gauge model train garden tells an American history story. Trains only run from 10:00am – 3:00pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, now through October 31.
Other Ways to Extend the Train-Filled Fun
Get your food delivered in a train car while you enjoy your train-themed surroundings at these Train Restaurants. Our family recently visited 2Toots in Naperville and loved our whole dining experience.
Hop on the Metra! What’s more exciting than actually being on the train? We’ve rounded up Kid-Friendly Stops Along the BNSF for all your planning needs.
Polar Express Rides are offered in December, but registration starts early. Our Holiday Train Rides list will be updating in early September, so keep an eye on registration details.
Head to Blackberry Farm! There’s so much to explore, and with unlimited rides, you’ll have fun over and over again on their train.
Did we miss your favorite spot to see trains? Let us know in the comments below!